Every March in the United States a number of words and phrases come back into use among millions of Americans – bracket, Cinderella, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four and March Madness.
The men's college basketball tournament – a three week playoff between 68 teams that culminates in the Final Four – has become an obsession with sports fans and non-sports fans alike.
The tournament often sees favorites lose early and surprise "Cinderellas" make deep runs. The teams may feature a future NBA player or two, but for the most part, players are 18-22 years of age and enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience before graduating and moving on with their lives. FULL POST
Coming into this season, the Indiana Pacers were naturally tabbed as one of the challengers to the Heat’s championship reign. After all, last season Indiana got to within one win of the NBA Finals before succumbing to Miami in seven games.
The Pacers’ hot start to this campaign has shown they are here to stay and will be hoping to overtake Miami in the East. Indiana won a team-record nine games in a row to begin the season and currently holds the NBA’s best record. Despite that, here are five reasons why they will not maintain this lightning pace: FULL POST
The 2013-14 NBA season is finally upon us and it’s hard to recall any in recent memory that have so many sub-plots and stories gestating from coast to coast. Usually the spotlight shines on a few teams who are deemed favorites at this time of year, but this season is different.
It seems that everywhere you look, there’s a team (or player) with a point to prove in the 2013-14 campaign:
In South Beach LeBron James and company want to prove they can join the all-time greats by winning a third straight title for the Miami Heat. After all, when you say three-peat, you think of the Shaq/Kobe LA Lakers and the Jordan/Pippen Chicago Bulls. Make no mistake that James is yearning to join that elite list and seems to have the team to deliver. FULL POST
Baseball is a game of statistics. But among the statistics, there are numbers that have greater meaning among both players and fans alike.
One of those is the record for home runs in a single season. In Japan, that record was set by Sadaharu Oh, who hit 55 homers in 1964. In the years since, two other foreign players had equalled Oh’s mark.
But recently, former U.S. major league player Wladimir Balentien finally broke through, hitting home runs number 56 and 57 in just his 113th game of the season. I’m not great at math, but one homer every two games is a fantastic accomplishment.
Oh, but I have forgotten to mention the other issue that always seems to accompany home run records in baseball. Controversy. FULL POST
By claiming her 17th grand slam singles title at the U.S. Open, Serena Williams now sits just one major title behind legends of the game Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, and five behind Steffi Graf, who holds the Open Era record of 22.
It now seems inevitable that she will at least tie and perhaps even surpass the numbers set by Navratilova and Evert, solidifying her place in the debate over who is the greatest of all time, but just how many more can she win? FULL POST
After his worst summer in a decade, Roger Federer now stands at the unfamiliar intersection between one of the greatest careers in tennis history, if not sporting history, and a precarious future as a potential also-ran in the upper echelons of the game.
After his historic record-setting run of 33 straight quarterfinal-or-better appearances at grand slams came to an abrupt end at this year’s Wimbledon, the former world No. 1 was expected to cut back his schedule, spend more time with his family and ease into the final phase of his career with one eye on his impending retirement.
However, the Swiss star decided to double down and push forward, dismissing any and all questions about stepping away from tennis. By doing so, the 17-time grand slam champion risks diminishing his historic legacy - a prospect further raised by his fourth-round defeat against Tommy Robredo at the U.S. Open. FULL POST
The Los Angeles Lakers' management baffled their own fans when they decided to look past former coach Phil Jackson and instead hire Mike D’Antoni as the new team coach.
After all, Jackson has won a record eleven titles as coach (five with the Lakers) while D’Antoni has reached the playoffs just five times in his 10 seasons as a head coach.
The argument should be over here. Jackson wins over D’Antoni 11-0. Period.
But for argument’s sake, let’s see what possibly would have led Jerry and son Jim Buss to go with the latter. FULL POST
The Super Bowl long ago became another holiday in the USA, bringing people together to enjoy the super-hyped finale to the NFL season. While families gather for Christmas and Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl gives Americans a chance to party with friends.
To gauge how highly Americans think of this event, it’s important to note that each Super Bowl is numbered by Roman numerals. In Sunday’s XLVI edition (that’s Super Bowl 46 for you non-history majors), the New England Patriots clash with the New York Giants in what is called one of the best matchups in recent memory.
The game is a rematch of Super Bowl XLII (42), when Eli Manning and the Giants spoiled the 18-0 Patriots’ quest for a perfect season. Manning threw the winning touchdown pass with 35 seconds left in the game to give Tom Brady his only loss in four Super Bowl appearances. FULL POST
The Miami Heat chose to remain in their locker room while the Dallas Mavericks celebrated their championship at mid-court before Sunday's season-opener for both teams.
Miami then came out and burned hotter than a pine forest in mid-August, building a 35-point lead in the third quarter en route to a more than comfortable opening-day win over the team that beat them in last season’s Finals. FULL POST
There is no shortage of storylines heading into the final game of the Fall Classic.
On Friday night, the Texas Rangers will either hoist their first ever World Series trophy, or the St. Louis Cardinals will triumph for the 11th time in their storied history – good enough for second most all-time. FULL POST